Architecture and design play a vital role in shaping the healthcare environment, impacting the well-being of patients, staff, and visitors alike. While the primary focus of healthcare facilities is the delivery of medical care, the physical spaces in which these services are provided can significantly contribute to the overall healing process. Explore the intricate relationship between architecture and healthcare through Archi Hives’ healthcare design project, Aarti Hospital in Jalandhar which highlights the transformative power of thoughtful design and its impact on patient outcomes.
Creating a Healing Environment:
Designing healthcare spaces that foster a healing environment requires careful consideration of various factors. First and foremost, the incorporation of natural elements and ample access to daylight can have a profound impact on a patient’s well-being. Studies have shown that exposure to natural light promotes faster recovery, reduces stress levels, and improves sleep patterns. By incorporating large windows, skylights, and outdoor spaces, designers can harness the healing power of nature within healthcare facilities.
Spatial Planning and Functionality:
Effective spatial planning is crucial in healthcare design to ensure seamless workflow and efficient operations. Architects must collaborate closely with healthcare professionals to understand their unique needs and translate them into practical design solutions. The layout should optimize patient flow, minimise noise and disruption, and facilitate clear wayfinding for patients and staff. For instance, the thoughtful consideration of zoning different areas by Archi Hives at the Aarti Hospital, such as waiting rooms, treatment spaces, labs, sample collection rooms, consultation rooms etc., helps create a harmonious environment that enhances the patient experience. For instance, the first floor of the hospital is built to include the patients’ rooms and seminar hall, while the second-floor houses the staff and management sections in addition to the functional zones and regulated entries.
Healthcare facilities are moving towards a patient-centred approach, emphasizing empathy and dignity in care delivery. Archi Hives embrace the paradigm shift in space design that prioritises privacy, comfort, and accessibility. Intuitive flooring layouts, private consultation areas, multiple OPDs and comfortable waiting rooms at the Aarti Hospital contribute to a sense of calm and reassurance for patients and their families. The emergency room is allocated with a separate entrance that makes availing of emergency services more accessible and efficient. Incorporating adaptable and flexible spaces allows for the accommodation of evolving healthcare technologies and patient needs like the labour room, semen collection room, IVF lab, IVF OT Cyro and anthology lab at the hospital serving as a practice space for a renowned gynaecologist.
Integration of Technology:
The advancements in medical technology have revolutionized healthcare practices, and architectural design must keep pace with these developments. Integration of smart technologies, telemedicine capabilities, and electronic medical record systems can enhance communication, streamline processes, and improve patient care. Architects need to collaborate with IT professionals to ensure the seamless integration of these technologies into the built environment, creating a cohesive and efficient healthcare system.
Sustainability and Wellness:
In recent years, sustainability has gained significant importance in architecture, and healthcare facilities are no exception. Green building practices, energy-efficient systems, and the use of eco-friendly materials not only reduce environmental impact but also contribute to the overall well-being of occupants. Incorporating healing gardens, and outdoor spaces, and promoting access to nature can further enhance the healing process, promoting physical and mental wellness.
Safety and Infection Control:
Healthcare facilities must prioritize safety and infection control to protect patients, staff, and visitors from potential hazards. Architects play a crucial role in designing spaces that mitigate the risk of infections through strategic spatial planning, material selection, and ventilation systems. Incorporating hand hygiene stations, antimicrobial surfaces, and efficient waste management systems are essential considerations to maintain a clean and safe environment.
Architecture and design have the power to transform healthcare spaces into nurturing environments that facilitate healing, promote well-being, and enhance patient experiences. By embracing patient-centred design principles, integrating technology, prioritizing sustainability, and ensuring safety measures, veteran architects like Archi Hives continue to create healthcare facilities that go beyond functionality, becoming havens of healing and compassion. As the field of healthcare continues to evolve, architects must continually adapt, innovating designs that meet the changing needs of patients, healthcare providers, and the broader community.